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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been offered a 99 ZX2 for $400 - I have never had one before bu t we are looking for a cheap, economical backup car fo my wife. It is in almost perfect cosmetic condition - no bumps rust or scratches and is clean inside and out. Mileage is 112k and it has a new set of tyres on it.

Now here is the problem - I am no mechanic and there are a couple of issues that will need to be looked at. The car was running fine until the brake pedal suddenly dropped to the floor and went floppy. After the car was towed back to the owners house, they started it and were unable to move the shifter out of park.

So here is the question - is this car worth a gamble - I trust the previous owners (they are as mechanically clueless as me) but is it worth the time and effort to try and get it back on the road. From reading posts here I understand that there may be some kind of link between the brake function and being unable to get out of park. The Brake lights work. the previouis owners also said that there was some noise from one or more of the wheels and that some of the bearings may be on the way out. How serious is this to repair?

Can anybody offer any ideas or opinions - grateful for anything :eek:)
 

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It sounds like a couple of different problems. When the brake switch does not detect a signal the shifter will not go out of park. You can use the override to shift it into a gear. As for the brake petal falling to the floor, it could be a few different things. Either the brake booster died, brake line broke, air in the brake lines, or there could be other brake problems.
 

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If the brake booster died it would be hard to push when the engine is running. I don't think the booster has failed. I would check for leaks or swelled brake hose first. If everything is fine, no leaks from lines or the wheel cylinders and calipers, then replace the master cylinder.
 

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I'd check the brake lines and the wheel cylinders. It sounds like it has just lost all the fluid and the brake system isn't building any pressure. The noise coming from the wheels may have just been worn out brakes scrubbing on the brake rotors or brake drums. If the noise was from a brake issue it will probably need new brake pads and/or shoes and possibly new drums and/or rotors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the input! I hadn't considered that the wheel noise might be ased byt the brakes - for some reason my mind was stuck on the idea of bad wheel bearings.

All in all, considering what I have read on the forums here it seems like I am getting a good deal even if i need to spend some cash on the brakes. I am going to try and take it for a 'test dive' this weekend. If the brakes are the cause of the wheel noise would the noise be distinctive? I know that bad bearings would probably make a whistling noise.
 

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If the noise is related to the brakes it will be worse when the brakes are applied. Usually a bad wheel bearing will make a popping or grinding noise and is usually worse in turns or curves because it puts more strain on the bearings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks to everyone for their ideas - the 'screwdriver in the hole' trick worked great and I was able to shift out of park. Sounds like the problem is with the front left brakes - feels like a 'metal on metal noise' and that something is sticking. Brakes still work although the pressure is definitely not there. Gave them $200 deposit and will pay the outstanding $200 when I pick up the car in a couple of weeks. It will definitely need a visit to the mechanic but still felt solid enough to drive home ather than on the back of a wrecker :eek:) Think I have got a bargain here !!
 

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If the brakes are still working just not the correct feel of the pedal it is possible that there's just air in the line that needs to be bled out. I'd check/replace the brake shoes/pads, rotor/drums, and have them bled to make sure there's not air in the lines and make sure there's not a caliper hanging up, then if there's still a problem it's probably either a bad master cylinder or vacuum booster.

Wish I could find a ZX-2 in good condition with a new set of tires for $400. I'd like to see pictures of it when you get it.
 

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for $400 i would put $400 more into it for upgrades. kemen mod,borla muffler, trubenz catback, hawk pads, etc.
 
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